On Yesterday’s Barbara Syllogism


In case you are just tuning in…I have started writing on the subject of philosophy because there are some burgeoning online discussion groups in the field that I was considering following.

Yesterday I posted a somewhat lengthy diatribe about Daniel Berrigan’s robbery of the draft office in the 1960’s and used it as an example to illustrate some metaethical questions regarding our society’s ability to function logically under duress (or internecine conflict).

I questioned whether the robbery was an unsanctioned, and anticlerical act that was intended to uphold the separation of church and state.  I mentioned that we could use Deontology or the study of obligation or duty to discuss what some people tend to consider civil disobedience.

I used the Barbara Syllogism to illustrate how we could conclude that Daniel Berrigan should not steal from the draft office. (modus ponens) I argued whether his mind-state could be considered anti-realist if he rejects the real existence of legal repercussions for his actions.

Today I debated whether the separation of church and state could be tantamount to “Hume’s separation of value from fact”[1] I decided that although it seems similar it was NOT this and deleted any references to dualism from this essay.

I thought about history again and how it has shown us however, that in some civil rights cases the church has been used to bypass legalities when there were civil rights violations by members of the state. In these cases some dualism does exist that could be tantamount to “Hume’s separation of value from fact”[1]  as I mentioned earlier.

I also learned about cognitive dissonance which can be defined as the “mental discomfort arising from conflicting beliefs or attitudes held simultaneously.”[2]   In this case the mental discomfort comes from the questions regarding anticlerical movements within the peace movement and the question of whether the draft was illegal especially if its methods violate the moral ethics of its subjects.

[1] Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy | Second Edition, Page 244

[2] Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy | Second Edition, Page 147






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